REIGNING Vodafone Hibiscus queen Drue Slatter is reminding this year's contestants not to take their roles lightly.
Ms Slatter said the opportunity to vie for the crown was an honour that could not be repeated.
"Have as much fun as you can, this is not something you can do twice," Ms Slatter advised the queens.
"But at the same time, understand the gravity of the task you have.
"Whatever cause you are advocating, you are representing the people that cannot speak for themselves.
"So while you are having fun, don't take the festival lightly because the entire nation is watching you."
She said all 16 contestants deserved the crown for their hard work in the pageant but the queen that remained confident and believed in the cause she represented would be worthy of the title.
"The only thing they can do is to compete for the crown to the best of their ability."
Ms Slatter said she was ready to hand the crown to a new queen come Saturday night.
"This journey as the 2012 Miss Hibiscus has been surreal. It was an amazing opportunity and I have enjoyed every minute of it."
Ms Slatter and the Hibiscus contestants — queens, kings, ladies, teens, princes and princesses — were hosted to a morning tea by the Suva City Council's special administrator yesterday at the Suva Civic Centre.